By 2015, American Electric Power will stop burning coal at three power plants, thanks to a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, several states and a handful of environmental and civil groups. [The Hill]
The Sierra Club said Monday that 2,011 megawatts of coal-generated electricity will come offline at facilities in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio….
AEP agreed to install 200 megawatts of wind and solar energy by 2015 in Michigan and Indiana to partially offset the loss of coal-fired power. It also will add pollution-control technology to a power plant in southern Indiana — though AEP would need to shut parts of the plant down beginning in 2025 if it cannot sufficiently lower sulfur dioxide emissions.
The settlement modifies a 2007 agreement between AEP, EPA and the other parties. EPA originally sued the utility in 1999 for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act, saying AEP failed to obtain permits and skirted reviews that could have pushed it to install technology that reduced air pollution when it upgraded several power plants.
The Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson says, “The test of President Obama’s seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It’s whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants — one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions — to the ashcan of history.” [WaPo]
U.S. federal prosecutors have been asked to take legal action over safety and environmental violations discovered on one of two drillships Royal Dutch Shell used last year in Arctic waters off Alaska, officials said on Monday. [Reuters]
Jack Lew, the White House nominee for Treasury secretary, says President Obama’s second-term vow to confront climate change will not lead to proposals to tax carbon dioxide emissions. [The Hill]
The push for a solution to the problem of nuclear waste is growing in Congress, primarily through the creation of an interim storage site as long as Yucca Mountain is unavailable. [National Journal]
Shareholders are filing resolutions asking companies to disclose physical risks posed by climate change for the first time this proxy season, according to representatives of sustainable investor groups. [Bloomberg]
Opening arguments in the civil trial of BP began in New Orleans on Monday, with lawyers arguing the oil giant emphasized cost-cutting over safety in the run up to the Deepwater Horizon spill. [LATimes]
Global warming may cause extreme weather events by slowing vast, wave-like weather flows in the northern hemisphere, scientists said on Tuesday. [Reuters]
The Price of European coal for next year fell to the lowest in a month, as Germany’s environment minister said that its increased use of the fuel shouldn’t become a trend. [Bloomberg]